Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said she believed the team was going to respond with a good effort on Friday against Arizona State.
"That's simply because of the belief I have in these players," she said, "and the leadership on this team."
The Bears made the critical plays down the stretch of their 69-60 victory, something it has not always done this season.
"This is who we are." she said. "I think this is who we can be."
The coach also said he gave her two point guards -- Recee' Caldwell and Asha Thomaso -- similar ppregame ep talks. She told Caldwell, "I need you to be the best gard on the floor tonight," and she told Thomas, "This is your game."
Gottlieb did not tell Thomas or Caldwell what she said to the other, but it seemed to work out as Caldwell and Thomas combined for 38 points on 8-of-13 three-point shooting.
The coach was particularly pleased with her team's grit and toughness to win a big game that was not always pretty. She was proud of Kristine Anigwe to "grind out 20 and 15."
She called it a "signature win," particuarly becasue the team was able to bounce back after the frustration of getting swept by UCLA and USC on the road last week that produced a five-game losing streak.
"I always go back to the belief in this group," she said.